Eagles Wake-Up Call: Playoff Scenario Notes

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch - USA Today

Photo Credit: Jeff Hanisch – USA Today

Mychal Kendricks sat patiently at his locker Wednesday afternoon answering questions from reporters.

One questioner asked Kendricks about how the team is avoiding looking ahead to the Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Cowboys.

“I can’t even believe you’re mentioning that right now,” Kendricks said. “Where’s that rewind button?”

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The Obstacles Facing Zach Ertz

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Zach Ertz said that he was taking the lack of playing time personally earlier in the year. He was extremely hard on himself and was allowing his frustrations to impact him on and off the field. If he had a negative play he would carry it over to the next, and admitted that his attitude wasn’t necessarily as good as it should have been.

Ertz credits his tight end coaches, Ted Williams and Justin Peelle, for helping to adjust his mindset.

“They kind of sat me down and said, ‘Hey, you’re doing a great job. Don’t be so hard on yourself.’ I have two great tight end coaches in Justin and Ted and two other great tight ends in our room in Brent [Celek] and James [Casey], so I’ve learned a lot from them.

“It was a big maturation process for myself, kind of a stubborn 23-year old to a mature 23-year old, 24-year old now.” Read more »

Game Review: Eagles Offense Vs. Packers

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu - USA Today

Photo Credit: Benny Sieu – USA Today

Here’s a player-by-player look at what we saw from the Eagles’ offense Sunday, after having watched the All-22 copy.

QUARTERBACKS

Mark Sanchez – The final line reads 26-for-44 for 346 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Sanchez actually played pretty well in the first half, but he was a mess down the stretch.

Early on, he stepped up and hit Riley Cooper for 11 yards. Sanchez did a good job of resetting his feet off a play-fake in the first and finding Jeremy Maclin for 20 yards downfield. On the first sack, Sanchez got hit helmet-to-helmet. He may have injured his hand on the play. On tape, you can see Matt Tobin tries to help him up, but Sanchez is reluctant to put pressure on his hand. Later on third down, Sanchez had Jordan Matthews wide open, but he was looking for Darren Sproles against a linebacker. The Eagles botched their protection, and he took a sack. Good throw in a tight window to Matthews over the middle for a first down in the first. Excellent throw on the swing pass to LeSean McCoy in the second, hitting him in stride for an 18-yard gain. On the first red zone trip, he might have had Brent Clek for a TD, but Clay Matthews didn’t bite on the play-fake and sacked him. Good ball to Matthews on a corner route on third down in the first, but the rookie dropped it. Great job stepping up and delivering to Matthews for 40 yards at the end of the first half. Still not sure why the Eagles didn’t call timeout after that play. Read more »

McCoy Trying To Grind It Out

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles

If you were to close your eyes and conjure up an image of the 2013 LeSean McCoy, chances are he’s on the loose. Maybe he’s bounding over a hapless Detroit defender and prancing through the snow while the rest of the mere mortals spin their wheels. Whatever it is, he’s probably slashing and gliding and on the attack.

Do the same exercise for this year’s version, and you might see defenders swarming into the backfield as No. 25 tries to flee this way and that before being swallowed up by the wave.

It’s been a grind for the reigning rushing champ, and that grind has gotten to him at times. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Ertz And the Red Zone

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA Today

Part of the solution to the Eagles’ red zone woes might be right under their noses.

Zach Ertz has taken a step forward in his second season. He is on pace for 54 catches for 809 yards and five touchdowns despite playing only 56 percent of the snaps. His seven catches of 20-plus yards is tied for second amongst tight ends (behind only Rob Gronkowski) and he ranks first in yards per reception (14.8). With speed, size and precise route-running, he has proven to be a difficult matchup for linebackers and safeties alike.

Those attributes can come in particularly handy in the red zone. When space is at a premium, a quarterback can certainly be aided by a big target that’s regularly able to win his one-on-one matchups. Ertz, though, has been featured very little in this capacity through seven games. Read more »

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